Multi-million pounds work to restore and protect Blackhead Path have received the thumbs up from the Whitehead community and beyond.
Contractor FP McCann has been appointed to complete the works, which get underway next month.
The project will see repairs carried out in stages over the next year to allow thousands of visitors who enjoy the Whitehead attraction annually to explore it in all its glory.
Following yesterday’s announcement by Mid and East Antrim Council, members of the public took to social media to voice their approval.
One user of the route posted on Facebook: “Finally. I’ve missed that walk and the view from the top.”
Another observed: “We should take a walk up some time, love this walk.”
Finally. I’ve missed that walk and the view from the top.
Other comments ranged from “brilliant” to “about time”.
Larne Lough UUP Cllr Mark McKinty joined in the discussion, offering assurances “there won’t be” to another post stating: “I sincerely hope that there will not be a charge/cost to the public when the works are finished.”
Plans include repairs along the coastal paths from the Old Castle Road right up to the lighthouse and new steps and handrails.
Work to restore the Golden Steps was completed earlier this year and two new community notice boards have been erected in Whitehead for information on the progress to be shared with residents and visitors alike. These are located near the path car park and outside the Whitehead Community Centre.
Anne Donaghy, chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: “We’re very proud and excited to see work starting on this important project. The works will see this path restored to its former glory and leave a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy.
“The stunning coastal walk is not only an essential part of life for locals in Whitehead, but one of this area’s biggest tourism assets.
“Whitehead is a stunning village with lots of eateries, shops, arts events and beautiful scenery to explore, and I would encourage everyone to make use of this whilst the works are ongoing.
“We are extremely keen to reopen the path as soon as the works are completed next year and appreciate the patience from the local community until that is done.”
Council added it will continue to work closely with the community, including Blackhead Path Preservation Society, to get the route open as soon as possible.”
Russell Eddis, Civil Engineering Business manager at FP McCann, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in restoring the Blackhead Coastal Path which is so valued by the local community and visitors alike.
“We would respectfully request your continued patience and co-operation during the complex and challenging construction phase.”
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